A CAMPAIGN launched to provide NHS workers across London with vital PPE kits has hit its £15,000 fundraising target.
The initiative, started by Bart and Marisa Murphy as the outbreak hit Britain, has also seen more than 17,000 PPE kits delivered to 12 hospitals, trusts and charities across the capital to protect healthcare workers battling the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mr Murphy, 36, who has been coordinating the campaign, which is supported by his employer MP Moran and Sons, explained how it all started.
“Whilst clapping for the wonderful NHS staff on that first Thursday morning, we were overwhelmed with emotion, but we went back inside our house feeling like that wasn’t enough. Was there anything else we could do?,” he said.
Since then the Murphy family have been working around the clock to get much-needed PPE to frontline health workers.
Through his professional network at Mp Morans, a leading supplier to the capital’s building and plumbing trades, and his 20 years of experience in the construction industry, Mr Murphy was able to secure thousands of pieces of protective kit – including hand sanitiser, nitrate gloves, masks, visors, goggles, antibacterial wipes, cover-all suits and shoe protectors.
His wife Marisa, 38, worked on coordinating the pleas from local hospitals and healthcare services for the kits, while their children, Florence, 7, Dominic, 6, and Matilda, 4, drew pictures and wrote thank you letters which have been included in each delivery of PPE made through their campaign.
“The children were really keen to help load the boot of the car up for each new drop off too,” Mr Murphy, whose parents hail from Co. Kerry, explained.
“And they are always eager to stay up and join in the Clap for our Carers on Thursdays, with our daughter Florence telling us, ‘it’s important to clap for the NHS so they can all see how proud we are of them’.”
The children are similarly proud of the work their parents are doing to support the people they are clapping for.
Florence explained: “I’m really happy that my mummy and daddy are working so hard for the NHS. We are helping to save people’s lives by giving them the items they need to protect them from coronavirus. The NHS are fantastic, and I am pleased we are helping them.”
Her brother Dominic added: “It’s very nice that we are helping other people and I am very proud. The NHS do a wonderful job.”
Through the power of Instagram the Murphys recently made contact with local chef and MasterChef finalist Nisha Palmer, who lent her support to their cause.
“Nisha posts live cooking demonstration videos in the evenings and in all her videos and posts she now mentions our GoFundMe page which has had a huge impact, as she has a following of 36,000 on Instagram,” Mr Murphy admits.
“She often holds back on posting popular recipes and demos until we have reached a particular target,” he added.
On April 25 the Murphys hit their £15,000 fundraising target, which is money that will be used to source more PPE and continue their deliveries – although they remain committed to continuing their campaign for as long as the protective gear is needed.
And they have received many notes of thanks for the work they have done so far, with the team at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington stating: “All of us at St Mary’s A&E want to say a huge thank you for kindly donating a huge amount of PPE.
“Myself and all of the team are so thankful. I can’t tell you how heart-warming it is to see how in times like this, people pull together to look after one another.
“Don’t underestimate how much your generosity means.”
The staff at Hillingdon Hospital shared a similar sentiment, stating: “Huge thanks from the doctors, nurses, midwives, clerical, admin and domestic staff and support workers for your incredible donations. We have been overwhelmed by your kindness and generosity.”
Mr Murphy claims hearing the relief and gratitude from those who they are supporting has made them determined to continue their PPE fundraising and campaign for as long as necessary.
“Hearing some of the feedback, comments on social media and actually physically delivering PPE to the frontline and seeing the gratitude etched on people’s faces has really motivated us to raise our target and continue this funding,” he confirmed.
“We have been overwhelmed by people’s generosity in donating at a financially challenging and uncertain time.”
To support the campaign click here.